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May 5, 1997


The opinion of the court was delivered by: KOELTL


 JOHN G. KOELTL, District Judge:

 This is a copyright infringement action by pro se plaintiff H.E. Elya A. Peker against defendants Reid A. Fader and Galaxy of Graphics Ltd. By Memorandum dated April 14, 1997, Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck certified facts pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(e) demonstrating the contempt of Mr. Peker and his wife, Ms. Peker, before the Magistrate Judge at the March 26, 1997 Final Pretrial Conference, and recommended dismissal of the case as the appropriate sanction. For the reasons explained below, Mr. and Ms. Peker are adjudged in contempt of court, and the case is dismissed with prejudice.


 The record in this case establishes the following facts. On August 26, 1996, this Court assigned this action to Magistrate Judge Peck for all pretrial matters. On October 7, 1996, Magistrate Judge Peck directed Mr. Peker to pay costs of $ 270.00 to the defendants for Mr. Peker's failure to appear at the conference on that date. In an order dated November 4, 1996, the Court affirmed this ruling. On November 19, 1996, Magistrate Judge Peck again directed Mr. Peker to pay costs of $ 290.00 to the defendants for Mr. Peker's failure to appear for his deposition and $ 395.00 for his non-appearance at the conference on that date. The Magistrate Judge also imposed a sanction of $ 250 payable to the Clerk of the Court. In an order dated December 19, 1996, the Court affirmed the imposition of compensatory sanctions for the defendants' expenses but vacated and remanded without prejudice the order awarding the sanction of $ 250 payable to the Clerk of the Court.

 On March 21, 1997, the Court denied the defendants' motion to dismiss the action pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b). The basis for the motion was that Mr. Peker had failed to comply with orders of the Court to pay monetary sanctions to the defendants. The Court found that although Mr. Peker had failed to pay the costs, the sanctions had had the appropriate effect of accomplishing compliance in that Mr. Peker did eventually appear at conferences and at his deposition. The Court concluded that dismissal at that point in the case would be too drastic a sanction considering the time, money, and effort the parties had expended in the litigation. The Court reminded Mr. Peker, however, that the failure to comply with Court orders might lead to dismissal of this action in which event Mr. Peker would have no trial.

 On March 26, 1997, the Magistrate Judge held a final pretrial conference. Early in the conference, the Magistrate Judge warned Ms. Peker that she was not to speak, or if she did, she would be cited for contempt. *fn1" (Tr. of 3/26/97 Conference at 7.) After reviewing Mr. Peker's objections to the defendants' portion of the proposed pretrial order, defense counsel requested a break to copy the Court's copy of Mr. Peker's proposed pretrial order because defense counsel had misplaced his copy and Mr. Peker did not have a copy with him. At that point, the following colloquy took place:


MR. SCHACTER: Your Honor, could we take a 15 minute break and I could have that, we have a copy that I --


MS. PEKER: I also don't have a copy.


MR. SCHACTER: I'll photocopy one for them, also.


THE COURT: Off the record.


(Off the record)


THE COURT: On the record. Mrs. Peker --


MS. PEKER: -- Enlarge the complaint. Because the court is against artist, against us, that's it.


THE COURT: Mrs. Peker, you are hereby cited for contempt.


MS. PEKER: Good. That's okay.


MR. PEKER: It's okay. We can pay with food stamps.


MS. PEKER: Okay. We can pay with food stamps. On the record we can pay with food stamps your court, your sanctions. Let's go.


THE COURT: If you walk out now I will recommend to Judge Koeltl dismissal of your case.


MR. PEKER: Yeah, okay, you recommended even another more worse.


THE COURT: All right. The record will reflect --


MS. PEKER: My child does not have what to eat and you don't want --


MR. PEKER: To eat! To eat!


MS. PEKER: And you do not let us, let us enlarge the complaint.


MR. PEKER: Everything -- stole the publisher, bandit rich, rich, of this. That's the --


MS. PEKER: Let Judge Koeltl decide. Let Judge Koeltl decide!


MR. PEKER: Let Judge Koeltl decision.


THE COURT: On the record, I'm not sure whether the court reporter was able to get any of that. The record will reflect that Mr. and Mrs. Peker stormed out of the courtroom screaming and showing obvious contempt for this court which is on a par with what they have shown throughout the entire case. They have not completed the pretrial order conference.


Accordingly, pursuant to the Court's inherent powers, as well as the Court's contempt powers, I hereby recommended that Judge Koeltl hold the Pekers, both Mr. and Mrs. Peker, in contempt; that the case be dismissed as a consequence of their contempt, their failure to comply with court orders, and their storming out of the final pretrial conference.


In addition, I recommend to Judge Koeltl that if he deems it appropriate, he enter an order precluding the Pekers from bringing any further actions for copyright infringement against Mr. Fader, Galaxy of Graphics or related companies, because this is the second time, assuming Judge Koeltl follows my recommendation, that a case of theirs has been dismissed because of their inability to comply with the court process....

 (Tr. of 3/26/97 Conference at 16-18.)

 The Court has reviewed the transcript of the March 26 conference and has also listened to the audiotape of the conference. The audiotape of the conference shows that Mr. and Ms. Peker were in fact screaming at the Magistrate Judge before they stormed out of the conference.

 This Court held a hearing on April 25, 1997, after notice to all parties, on why Mr. and Ms. Peker should not be held in contempt in accordance with Magistrate Judge Peck's April 14, 1997 Certification. Mr. and Ms. Peker were afforded the opportunity to introduce any evidence at the hearing or in writing. They chose to make two written submissions to the Court in which they argued that they were not in contempt and had not screamed at the Magistrate Judge.


 "Federal courts have the power summarily to punish as contempt 'misbehavior of any person in their presence, or so near thereto as to obstruct the administration of justice.'" United States v. Martin-Trigona, 759 F.2d 1017, 1024 (2d Cir. 1985) (quoting Ex Parte Terry, 128 U.S. 289, 304, 32 L. Ed. 405, 9 S. Ct. 77 (1888)). Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 401, a court has the "power to punish by fine or imprisonment, at its discretion, such contempt of its authority, and none other, as-- (1) Misbehavior of any person in its presence or so near thereto as to obstruct the administration of justice ...." 18 U.S.C. § 401(1); see also Martin-Trigona, 759 F.2d at 1024 ("[The power to punish as contempt] is limited to circumstances 'where the misbehavior is in the presence of the judge and is known to him, and where immediate corrective steps are needed to restore order and maintain the dignity and authority of the court.'") (quoting Johnson v. Mississippi, 403 U.S. 212, 214, 29 L. Ed. 2d 423, 91 S. Ct. 1778 (1971)). "Although the contempt power should not be used in a manner that impinges on legitimate advocacy, a judge need not tolerate disrespect or a deliberate show of defiance in open court. To affront the dignity of the court the misbehavior need not insult the judge personally, but may consist of threats, disrespect or other like behavior." United States v. Giovanelli, 897 F.2d 1227, 1232 (2d Cir.), cert. denied sub nom. Hochheiser v. United States, 498 U.S. 822, 112 L. Ed. 2d 46, 111 S. Ct. 72 (1990).

 Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(e), a magistrate judge has the power to certify facts to the district court constituting a contempt including "misbehavior at a hearing or other proceeding" or "any other act or conduct which if committed before a judge of the district court would constitute contempt of such court." The district court, following a hearing such as that afforded to Mr. and Ms. Peker in this case, shall, if the evidence so warrants, punish the contemnor in the same manner and to the same extent as for a contempt committed before a district court judge.

 In this case, the evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. and Mrs. Peker not only screamed at the Magistrate Judge, but that they also stormed out of the Final Pre-trial Conference before it had concluded despite being warned that if they did so, the Magistrate Judge would recommend dismissal of the action as a contempt sanction. Mr. and Ms. Peker had also been warned in the past that disruptive conduct could lead to contempt sanctions including the dismissal of this case in which event there would be no trial. Both the transcript and the audio tape of the proceeding clearly indicate that Mr. and Ms. Peker's "insulting remarks, scornful tone of voice, and disrespect had become 'a flagrant defiance of the person and presence of the judge before the public.'" Martin-Trigona, 759 F.2d at 1026 (quoting United States v. Marra, 482 F.2d 1196, 1201 (2d Cir. 1973) (quoting Cooke v. United States, 267 U.S. 517, 536, 69 L. Ed. 767, 45 S. Ct. 390 (1925))). Although courts must be particularly solicitous of pro se litigants, there is no excuse for any litigant screaming at a judge, insulting the court, ridiculing any proposed sanction, and storming out of the courtroom during the middle of a conference after being warned of the consequences. Accordingly, Mr. and Ms. Peker are adjudged in contempt of court for their actions at the Final Pretrial Conference on March 26, 1997. See, e.g., Giovanelli, 897 F.2d at 1232; United States v. Ruggiero, 835 F.2d 443, 446 (2d Cir. 1987); Martin-Trigona, 759 F.2d at 1025-26; In re Williams, 500 F.2d 403, 406 (2d Cir. 1974), cert. denied, 419 U.S. 1107, 42 L. Ed. 2d 803, 95 S. Ct. 778 (1975).

 Ordinarily, the sanction for contempt is a fine or imprisonment. See, e.g., Giovanelli, 897 F.2d at 1232; Williams, 500 F.2d at 405. However, in this case, a specific fine would likely be meaningless. As explained above, the Magistrate Judge previously sanctioned Mr. Peker pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 37 for failure to appear at conferences and a deposition, but Mr. Peker has refused to pay. Furthermore, imprisonment is inappropriate in light of Mr. and Ms. Peker's age. Dismissal of this action is therefore the most appropriate contempt sanction. As the Magistrate Judge noted, "Certainly, if the Court can dismiss under Rule 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for disobedience of discovery and scheduling orders in appropriate cases, the Court should be able to dismiss as a contempt sanction where, as here, no other sanction seems appropriate for the contempt." (Certification of Facts for Contempt Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(e) at 7.)

 Accordingly, this action is dismissed with prejudice.


 For the reasons explained above, Mr. and Mrs. Peker are adjudged in contempt, and this action is dismissed with prejudice. The Clerk is directed to enter Judgment dismissing the action and closing the case.


 Dated: New York, New York

 May 5, 1997

 John G. Koeltl

 United States District Judge

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